Monthly Archives: April 2016

Fountain in Coyoacan

Location: Mexico City, Mexico

On Allende in the Coyoacan district of Mexico City within a small garden courtyard at Foro Cultural Coyoacanense Hugo Arguelles is a drinking fountain manufactured in the 19th century during the presidency of José de la Cruz Porfirio Díaz Mori (1876 to 1911). It was relocated there in the 1970’s from its original location which is unknown.

The cast iron structure manufactured by J. L. Mott Iron Works, New York, is seated on an octagonal base. Four small basins at ground level allowed dogs to drink, and two large fluted troughs to quench the thirst of horses and cattle.

Eight panels, surmounted with scalloped arches, host dolphin masks from which water spouts into four demi-lune basins decorated with laurel leaves. Anchored adjacent to the basin were drinking cups suspended on chains. A square central column displays cartouches containing an orb surrounded by flourish. Each corner is bound with a highly decorated pilaster.

The capital supports an urn flanked by two elaborate consoles supporting glass lanterns. The highly decorated urn is capped with an eagle landing on a nest representative of the Mexican coat of arms on the Mexican flag.

Glossary

  • Capital, the top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • Cartouche, a structure or figure, often in the shape of an oval shield or oblong scroll, used as an architectural or graphic ornament or to bear a design or inscription.
  • Chamfered, a beveled edge connecting two surfaces
  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • Demi-lune, half moon or crescent shape
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Fluted, a long rounded groove
  • Mask/Mascaron, a decorative element in the form of a sculpted face or head of a human being or an animal
  • Pilaster, a column form that is only ornamental and not supporting a structure

Market Square Fountain

Location: Ramsey, Isle of Man

A lamp/drinking fountain was erected in Market Square adjacent to St. Paul’s Church in 1865 to commemorate the establishment of the Ramsey Town Commission.

Originally seated on a two tiered rectangular pedestal the capital supported a column with a central lantern flanked by two additional lanterns on elaborate palmette consoles. The six sided glass pane lanterns were capped with a ball and spike finial.

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Source: Facebook/Ramsey Town Commissioners

The structure was altered several times to accommodate the inventions of the 20th century. The introduction of gas lighting reduced the light source to one lantern, (yoke maintenance arms which were positioned beneath the lantern are still in view); and with the establishment of electric power the lantern was replaced with a rectangular frame from which hung an electric bulb.

When Market Square was transformed into a car park the fountain was obscured between two telephone boxes. The current structure still retains a demi-lune basin and a crest similar to the Prince of Wales’ coat of arms on one side. The three remaining sides contain an inset panel with bas-relief displaying the Isle of Man coat of arms and the legend, Ramsey Incorporated / 1865 / Erected By Subscription. A stone trough is set into the ground on one side.

Redevelopment of the Square was started in 2015 with the intention of restoring the cast iron fountain and relocating it closer to the church.

Update: Restoration complete, image status 2016

Glossary:

  • Bas-relief, sculpted material that has been raised from the background to create a slight projection from the surface
  • Capital, the top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • Demi-lune, half moon or crescent shape
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Palmette, a decorative motif resembling the fan shaped leaves of a palm tree
  • Pedestal, an architectural support for a column or statue
  • Yoke maintenance arms, the bars near the top of a street light which supported the lamplighter’s ladder

 


Dean’s Lamp/Fountain

Location: Montrose, Angus, Scotland

Dean Park, located at Mid Links near Academy Square, contains a 19th century lamp/fountain combination known locally as Dean’s Lamp. It is adjacent to the statue of Robert Burns on the path between Marine Avenue and Churchyard Walk. The park and lamp were probably (I have been unable to discover relevant data) named after the Dean of Guild, a group of burgh magistrates who were responsible for buildings.

The design, manufactured by McDowall, Steven & Co.’s Milton Works in Glasgow, supplied fresh water to animals and humans. It is seated on a square stone plinth. A square base houses small demi-lune basins at ground level for dogs, and four large quatrefoil basins for horses. The pedestal is inscribed, ‘The Deans Lamp 1881’.

The highly decorated stanchion and central column are decorated with acanthus and floral relief. Lion masks, a symbol of guardianship, spouted water from which humans drank using metal cups suspended on consoles. A dolphin, symbolizing guardians of water, flank each side of the stanchion. The base of the lamp column contains four mascarons crowned with a shell motif.

The Corinthian column supports a central lantern flanked by two additional lanterns on elaborate palmette consoles. The six sided glass pane lanterns were capped with a ball and spike finial.

It was recorded as a Category C listed building on 30 March 1999. Restoration of the structure in 2002 included repainting the cast iron and installing lanterns to resemble the original design.

Glossary:

  • Acanthus, one of the most common plant forms (deeply cut leaves) to make foliage ornament and decoration
  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • Column Corinthian, a fluted shaft with flowers and leaves at the capital.
  • Demi-lune, half moon or crescent shape
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Mascaron, a decorative element in the form of a sculpted face or head of a human being or an animal
  • Palmette, a decorative motif resembling the fan shaped leaves of a palm tree
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests.
  • Quatrefoil, a type of decorative framework consisting of a symmetrical shape which forms the overall outline of four partially-overlapping circles of the same diameter
  • Stanchion, upright bar or post providing support

 


Justin F. Mackenzie Drinking Fountain

Location: Woodstock, VT, USA

In 1889 a drinking fountain for horses was erected on Elm Street at the junction with Central Street (this area was known as the Village Square). It was donated by the Honourable Justin F. Mackenzie to supply drinking water to man and beast toiling together with cart and stagecoach.

Ten years earlier he was the owner of a local textile factory and a lumber mill who later represented Vermont in the House of Representatives in 1884. His efforts to supply the village with drinking water were realized with the charter of the Woodstock Aqueduct company which supplied water from a local reservoir to 30 hydrants.

Justin and his wife were members and benefactors of the American Humane Education Society, and their interest in the welfare of animals was sustained when their son Frank created the Lucy Mackenzie Humane Society in honour of his wife.

The cast iron structure manufactured by J. L. Mott Iron Works was seated on an octagonal base with chamfered corners. Four small basins at ground level allowed dogs to drink, and two large fluted troughs to quench the thirst of horses and cattle. A plaque at ground level was inscribed; Presented To / The Village Of Woodstock / By / Justin F. Mackenzie / 1889.

Eight panels, surmounted with scalloped arches, hosted dolphin masks from which water spouted into four demi-lune basins decorated with laurel leaves. Anchored adjacent to the basin were drinking cups suspended on chains. A square central column displayed cartouches containing an orb surrounded by flourish. Each corner was bound with a highly decorated pilaster.

The capital supported an urn flanked by two elaborate consoles supporting glass lanterns with open-winged bird finials. The highly decorated urn was capped with an orb and crown finial which resembled an acorn motif symbolizing that the roots of a family or institution are old and deep.

Glossary

  • Capital
  • Cartouche, a structure or figure, often in the shape of an oval shield or oblong scroll, used as an architectural or graphic ornament or to bear a design or inscription.
  • Chamfered, a beveled edge connecting two surfaces
  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • Demi-lune, half moon or crescent shape
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Fluted, a long rounded groove
  • Mask/Mascaron, a decorative element in the form of a sculpted face or head of a human being or an animal
  • Pilaster, a column form that is only ornamental and not supporting a structure

Dock Fountains

Location: Liverpool, Merseyside, England

During a visit to Switzerland Charles P. Melly, a local businessman, philanthropist and member of the City Council for Abercromby Ward was intrigued by the fountains in Geneva that offered free drinking water. In 1854 he installed two water spouts offering access to drinking water in the Princes Dock area, primarily for the use of dock workers and immigrants sailing to Australia and America.

The usage and popularity of the taps inspired him to provide fountains throughout the city. In 1859, a now disputed number (33 or 43) drinking fountains endorsed by the Mersey Docks & Harbour Board were installed on both sides of the dock boundary wall. The fountains were attached to walls, buildings and bridges in areas where the public could easily access them. The majority of the fountains were created in granite with a lesser number cast in iron.

The cast iron models still in existence are in the shape of an arch with a fluted background. A shell lunette dominates the interior. A spigot directly beneath the shell delivered water which was gathered into a drinking cup suspended on a chain. A small circular basin inset to the wall collected unused water. The manufacturer is unknown; however, the shell lunette is similar to a design used by Walter Macfarlane’s Saracen Foundry.

  1. Nelson dock is on Regent Road
  2. Prince’s dock is on Bath Street Gibraltar Row
  3. Trafalgar dock is on Waterloo Road reset into a rebuilt wall

Glossary:

  • Fluted, a long rounded groove
  • Lunette, the half-moon shaped space framed by an arch, often containing a window or painting
  • Spigot, a device that controls the flow of liquid

Teulon Fountain

Location: Battersea Park, London, England

Although it was decided in 1845 to create a public park in Battersea Fields, the park was not officially opened until 1858. William Cowper who was the First Commissioner of Works was enthusiastic in his efforts to create beautiful gardens. He also commissioned sculpture and architecture within the park including a cast iron Gothic style drinking fountain at the end of the avenue of English elms.

The fountain commissioned in 1860 was designed by Samuel Sanders Teulon who was a 19th-century English Gothic Revival architect. It was manufactured by Francis Alfred Skidmore of Coventry, a British metalworker who was influenced by the Gothic Revival style, a movement characterised by its use of medieval designs and styles. It was erected in a prominent position at the east end of Central Avenue.

This ‘lost’ fountain (it is unknown when or why it was removed) was seated on an octagonal granite plinth with 6 columns from the capitals of which arches formed to create an open fretwork canopy of foliate design which was intended to be gilded. An enamelled basin offered drinking water.

In 1859 the Ecclesiologist Society examined the design of a fountain by S. S. Teulon which was to be placed by the Board of Works in Battersea Park. It was described as ‘happily enough borrowed from the old-well covers; but the design is somewhat needlessly spiky, and hirsute.’ (The definition of hirsute is hairy which seems an odd word to describe a metal structure.)

Glossary:

  • Foliate, decorated with leaves or leaf like motif
  • Fret, running or repeated ornament
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests.

Brechin’s Macfarlane Fountains

Location: Brechin, Angus, Scotland

In 1903, the town erected a bandstand and a fountain in the public park. The elaborate cast iron fountain was donated by Robert Duke Esq. of Bearehill and manufactured by Walter Macfarlane and Co.’s Saracen Foundry in Glasgow. Seated in a circular basin, the single pedestal with canted corners hosted lion masks set into concave mouldings which spouted water into basins with fluted edge. Cranes were located on each corner beneath the upper basin. A crane with open wings and head raised operated as a water jet. It was listed as a Category B historic building on 4 August 1986.

Standing immediately in front of this spray model was a drinking fountain also manufactured by the Saracen Foundry. Number 47 originally designed as a ‘ground basin’ enrichment was, in this instance, supported by a single fluted column with cornice and square capital. An open fretwork canopy with central rosette projected above the fluted font. The finial was a decorative spike.

On Park Road near the Caledonian Steam Railway was another Macfarlane drinking fountain. Design number 7 was a single pedestal basin with four decorative columns rising from an octagonal plinth. Four salamanders descended the fountain pedestal as a symbol of courage and bravery. The basin had a scalloped edge and decorative relief. A central urn with four consoles offered drinking cups suspended by chains. The terminal was a crane recognized as a symbol of vigilance.

The area of St. Ninian’s Square was popular with children who played in the water receptacles. A cattle trough was located a few feet from the drinking fountain which had a basin large enough to sit in and a dog trough at ground level. This is demonstrated in an image which the Angus Archives refused to give permission to use unless I paid a fee. You can view it at this link, https://www.facebook.com/AngusArchives/photos/pb.158698880937355.-2207520000.1460206276./316122285195013/?type=3&theater.

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Glossary:

  • Canted corner, an angled surface which cuts of a corner
  • Capital, the top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • Cornice, a molding or ornamentation that projects from the top of a building
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Fluted, a long rounded groove
  • Fret, running or repeated ornament
  • Pedestal, an architectural support for a column or statue
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests
  • Rosette, a round stylized flower design
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal